Rick Porcello has enjoyed an almost super-human month of May, but the good feelings hit the skids in a hurry Saturday, when the Texas Rangers pummeled him on the way to a dominating 12-2 victory.
The Tigers did scratched across an early run to help Porcello, as Andrew Romine, slugger extraordinaire, singled and scored on a double by Rajai Davis for the 1-0 lead. Porcello picked up momentum in the early innings, striking out three in a row at one point, and looking as if he was set to cruise along.
As quick as Porcello looked to be rolling along, the Rangers put a stop to his momentum in the fourth. a double, a walk and a triple by Rougned Odor helped Texas to a 4-1 lead. Detroit's bats didn't put up an immediate response, and Adrian Beltre made them pay with a mammoth solo home run to make it 5-1.
Torii Hunter whiffed with two on in the bottom of the fifth ending Detroit's threat, and immediately, the Tigers would pay on the scoreboard. Donnie Murphy cranked a two run home run in the sixth, and Texas added another run on a double by Mitch Moreland making it 8-1.
Detroit loaded the bases in the seventh, but predictably stranded everyone, putting a final nail in the chances of coming back. Corey Knebel made his major league debut and got tagged when the impressive Odor cleared the bases with his second triple, pushing the score to 11-1. The Tigers didn't break young Nick Martinez, who pitched confidently through six striking out two.
Much like Thursday, Danny Worth came in for knuckleball cleanup duty in the ninth, and did manage to get knocked around a bit, giving up a run on three hits. Detroit pushed home a run in the bottom of the ninth to send what little fans were left home happy, but the Rangers still won going away.
Top Tiger: None. For the second time in three days, the Tigers didn't have anyone make the cut as a top player. Ian Kinsler showed some grit keeping a 10 game hitting streak alive with a few base hits and Victor Martinez collected three of his own, but other than that, it was curtains for Detroit's offense and pitching.
Bungling Bengal: Rick Porcello and Torii Hunter. A dual award today for the Tigers. It's Hard to imagine what happened to Porcello since his last string of excellent starts, but Saturday was a much different story. The Rangers tagged him around the yard with hard hits. Hunter, meanwhile, had a horrible day at the plate and an adventurous day in the field.
The Turning Point: Torii Hunter's wall gaffe costs the Tigers a chance at getting out of the fourth inning. The Rangers fourth inning proved to be the game changer, but everything was jump-started by Hunter's late jump on a fly ball over his head. Hunger played the ball off a carom, but had a horrible relay throw, which helped Texas score a run and keep the inning alive. With a better throw and decision, it's likely Detroit could have escaped further damage in the inning where everything spiraled out of control.
Stat Of The Game: 12, the number of hits Rick Porcello allowed, which matched the number of runs Texas scored. It was an ugly day for Detroit's starter, and he hadn't given up over 10 hits since a start against the San Diego Padres. Worse, Porcello's control was a bit amiss considering the two walks, but most troubling were the hits, especially the loud contact and home runs.
Quote To Note: "You don't want to turn it into a carnival sideshow." —Brad Ausmus. Danny Worth pitched in the late innings of a blowout once again, much to the delight of fans. Despite this, Ausmus doesn't want to turn the Worth experiment into a bigger phenomenon. Ausmus emphasized the need to use Worth came because of the lopsided situation Detroit found themselves in on the scoreboard once again.
What's Next: Detroit will try to salvage a series split by sending Justin Verlander (5-3) to the mound on Sunday afternoon. He'll be opposed by Colby Lewis (3-3) at 1:08 p.m.
Max DeMara is the editor of @tigers_101. Follow the site there on Twitter, or like it on Facebook to connect with him.Tags: Adrian Beltre, Baseball, Brad Ausmus, Corey Knebel, Danny Worth, Detroit, Detroit Tigers, Donnie Murphy, Ian Kinsler, MLB, Nick Martinez, Rick Porcello, Rougned Odor, Torii Hunter